Newman Day: A History


Newman Day is coming. Paul Newman went to Kenyon, isn’t that neat? One time he said “There are both 24 beers in a case and hours in a day — there should be a holiday commemorating this,” or something like that. I’m not sure who made the connection that the holiday should be celebrated by drinking 24 beers in 24 hours, sounds dangerous but whatever. Anyway, he/she went to Kenyon (Or maybe Bates), so that’s cool too. But, a lot of us are gonna celebrate tomorrow, here’s a rough timeline of events to get you in the mood.

Apocryphal Date: Newman makes his hallowed statement

Mid 70s: Newman Day is first celebrated, whether this was at Bates, Kenyon or Princeton is entirely unclear.

1976: First 84 Newman Day related hospitalizations occur. No one dies, but Marsha Cuffington cuts her hand pretty badly while ripping apart a can of Coors – losing her ability to play the guitar moderately well.

1978: Paulie Wunters rips down some scaffolding from Gund Commons, is reprimanded by the Dean, but gets off with a slap on the wrist.

1979: Paulie Wunters is caught urinating from the roof of Hanna, is promptly expelled.

1982: One of Terry Botcher’s friends gives him the nickname ‘Dake’ sometime between 6 and 8 pm. To this day no one really remembers why.

1983: Teddy Hubbles becomes the first student on record to actually finish Newman Day.

1985: Shauna Podgings tries to juggle some cookies in Peirce, drops them, leaves them, vomits nearby.

1987: Hamilton Dean, Celeste Branham declares Newman Day “finished,” couple of kids crack up and say “okay.”

May 1st 1991: Cloris Mintward becomes the second student on record to finish Newman Day.

May 2nd 1991: Cloris Mintward wakes up in Mansfield.

1994: George Plister falls asleep at the rugby field, wakes up covered in ants.

1996: Hey Arnold! Premieres on Nickelodeon, few Kenyon students, drunk or not are aware of this occurrence.

2000: With the sip of his 21st beer, Casey Tongue finally stops being afraid that Y2K is “just waiting to strike.”

2002-2007: Newman Day is not celebrated because of the measles epidemic.

2008: After bonging her 4th beer, Meggie Gunch realizes that her measles have finally subsided.

2010: Toby Wrinklin dies of causes not related to alcohol, entire campus agrees to pour one out for him and only drink 23 beers, all campus grass promptly turns brown and dies.

2013: Fristeen Hendrix steals some shit that she will later regret stealing.

2015: That remains to be seen.

One response

  1. Paul Newman in fact answered this tradition in a letter to Kenyon students which he sent to President Nugent in March of 2005. The text was this:

    “Twenty four beers in a case.
    Twenty four hours in a day.
    Coincidence? I think not.”

    To the Students of Kenyon College:

    I’m afraid that quote does not belong to me. In the first place, there’s too much math, which I’m soft on. Then, no clarity and no rules. Does one drink on the hour? There’s no prize or penalty. Who takes care of the fallen? Are you snubbed by your peers if you wind up face down in the urinal? And vomit? Is it deducted in equal volume, recycled, or merely cause for disqualification? Who keeps score? (Think Florida.) Do you get extra points if you hoard and save the entire wad for one last-minute heroic chug?


    Then there’s something way out on the other side.

    Twenty-three hours of community service followed by a cold one. I could put my arms around that. Same with twenty-three hours of Mozart or mentoring or packing a bundle of turkey sandwiches and parceling them out to doddering old goats like me.Ponderous options?

    Well, it’s not easy for me to find sport in the stated event.

    I lost a son to alcohol/plus other stuff. The thing is — he started out just as harmless as any of you.

    Paul Newman

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